Were you to quiz employees on business etiquette, most likely everyone would regard bossiness and bullying as out of bounds. When what appear to be balance of power issues arise, others in the workplace can feel intimidated when they witness unprofessional acting out. My knowledge on this subject is pooled from friends in the corporate world.
Does an employee show these patterns?
Manipulation and control may be the ultimate goal with these kinds of behavior. Additional examples include:
These behaviors are not only disruptive, but they also intimidate others and cause division and confusion in a team structure. It is up to leadership to manage situations like this to ensure a cohesive team stays intact.
The sooner the issue is handled the better for everyone. When a person comes to understand they can get away with bossiness and bullying, the negative behavior will continue and may even escalate.
Redirection must be made by leadership. An initial conversation with the employee might determine why the behavior is taking place, or if the employee is even aware of their negativity.
Speak to the employee alone in an etiquette-ful and sincere way. You are aiming to discourage the behavior, not the person.
Consider what the person believes they need that they are not getting. Is the person aware of how they are coming across?
Many times, especially when an employee is in the midst of a personal issue or crisis this is the root cause of their actions, a conversation like this will result in behavior correction. Or the person is more aware of the effect they are having on the team and will moderate their negativity.
However, if change is not forthcoming, additional assistance is necessary.
Investigating how you might be viewed in your leadership role is an opportunity to learn.
Do peers and employees view you
The best work relationships and workplace productivity occurs when there is mutual respect between executives, managers, and employees. Consider the following in your own Leadership Integrity Self-examination:
Recognizing how you might contribute to your employees’ behavior – negative or positive – is a mark of a good leader. There will always be outliers, but when respect and trust are the major aspects of work relationships, you can be assured that productivity will be consistent.